Tuesday, October 15, 2013
T.G.I. Fridays bartender from Plano advances to world championship
She beat out eight other bartenders from the western United States, including defending Western Division champ Chantry Coffman, of Dallas.
PLANO When the bottles stopped flipping and the drinks stopped flowing at Monday's Divisional World Bartender Championship, only one T.G.I. Fridays bartender was left standing: West Plano bartender Katie Livezey.
Livezey beat out eight other bartenders from the western United States - including defending Western Division champ Chantry Coffman, of Dallas, who placed second - and will continue her quest for the title of World's Best Bartender in the championship round, which will be held in February at the House of Blues in Dallas.
"Within a month of working here I was sent to BarWarz, which prepares us for the whole bar championship," said Livezey, who has bartended at T.G.I. Fridays for three years. "I had some really good mentors and friends who taught me."
The World Bartender Championship started off as a challenge between two bartenders, and today welcomes more than 8,000 bartenders from around the world in a competition widely considered the toughest international bartending competition.
"It's all about personality and involving the guests and making sure everyone's having fun," Livezey said. "I'm not that crazy person who juggles eight bottles."
While flair is what keeps the crowd excited, the judges are focused on other categories, including drink knowledge, pour accuracy and personality.
"They've been practicing for years and show off some amazing tricks," said Scott Devlin, beverage manager at the West Plano Fridays and the event host. "What guests don't see in the behind the scenes portion of the competition is even more impressive. In the morning, bartenders were graded on a variety of skills that make Fridays bartenders the best in the business."
Devlin said Livezey is a dedicated and focused employee and a true believer in Fridays.
"She builds really great relationships with every guest she has. You should see her during the week - she knows everyone," Devlin said. "It's events like this that make me realize I truly love my job and the company I work for."
With the help of Fridays, the North Texas Food Bank is able to provide 175,000 nutritious meals per day to North Texans, said Elizabeth Liser, director of corporate engagement.
Other competitors included Sean Davis, of Longmont, Colo.; Michelle Hay, of Humble, Texas; La Ounsamone, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Sean Hart, of Memphis, Tenn.; Madison Barczewski, of St. Louis and Levi Ray, of Oklahoma City.
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